Just days after Sen Manchin announced he was ‘postponing’ his support for the reconciliation bill being negotiated in the US Senate and delaying investments necessary to address the climate crisis, WV CAG and partners organized a rally outside his Charleston office calling on him to put #PeopleOverProfits and not to gamble with our future! See the Facebook live video here.
Below is our director’s opening statement as he moderated the event. Other WV Climate Alliance groups were also represented and speakers from the Sierra Club, Common Defense (a veterans’ group) and the WV Council of Churches offered their groups’ perspectives. A special surprise speaker, an elementary school student, Marthalene, called on Senator Manchin to “Open your eyes and see what is happening. Climate change is affecting all of us!” Thank you Marthalene!
One Step Forward, Three Steps Back
Opening Statement and Remarks by Gary Zuckett
In 2020, we elected a new president with high hopes of unlocking some long overdue changes in healthcare, voting rights, fair taxation and the super critical issue of climate justice! That was a big step forward for our movement!
This change in administration was a big opportunity to make progress. We supported the American Rescue Plan to help address the problems created by the ongoing pandemic. We celebrated the passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act with the assurance that investments in care jobs , green jobs and climate justice would follow.
We worked hard to communicate with Senator Manchin to make sure he understood the needs, desires and demands of his constituents. This now appears to be an abject failure considering his response. At the end of last year, President Biden’s Build Back Better plan died because of Senator Manchin’s ‘concerns’. That was one step back.
Then WV Attorney General Morrisey took it upon himself to lead the charge against the EPA having the ability to cut greenhouse emissions from power plants. The Supreme Court, packed by former President Trump and Senator Mitch McConnell with radicals, agreed. That was two BIG steps back.
Last week we had a bare bones reconciliation bill that was on its way to passage, but wait! In a repeat performance, our Senator Mancin took to the national stage to announce that he’s again pulling the plug on addressing the climate crisis, this time because of the boogeyman of inflation. We’re now in the uncharted territory of three steps back!
Sure inflation is a problem. But the bill Manchin just put on hold would actually help deal with inflation by making billionaires and tax-dodging corporations pay their fair share of taxes and use that money to invest in addressing the climate crisis, creating green jobs, expanding Medicare, and paying down the national debt. Using the excuse of inflation for putting climate justice efforts on hold just doesn’t hold water.
As Sen Manchin said last year, “Inaction is not an option.” Climate action is needed now before it’s too late! The longer we wait to take bold action to address the climate crisis, the worse it gets. And the more expensive it gets!
The climate crisis is here NOW! Call Manchin’s office every day at 202-224-3954 and tell him that. Even though his Charleston office is in the WV Lottery building, tell him ‘Don’t Gamble with our Future!’ Pass climate legislation now!